Posted by: Prospector PJ13 MAY 2009
Next week is National Epilepsy Week (17–23 May 2009), which Epilepsy Action plans to use to keep up pressure on politicians to improve services for the 456,000 people with the condition in the UK.
Epilepsy can affect anyone at any age, with one in 20 people having a seizure at some time in their life. The vast majority of people with epilepsy can take part in the same activities as everyone else, with the help of a few simple safety measures where appropriate. Many have achieved greatness.
A link between epilepsy and greatness has fascinated biographers and physicians for centuries. In his “Treatise on epilepsy”, the 17th century physician Jean Taxil refers to Aristotle’s “famous epileptics”. This list includes Hercules, Socrates and Plato. Taxil makes his own suggestions: Julius Caesar, Caligula and Muhammad.
More recently, famous people with epilepsy have included Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, who died in status epilepticus in 1924. The condition has not hindered athletes such as sprinter Florence Griffith Joyner and cricketer Jonty Rhodes.
And many artistic types with epilepsy have reached great heights, such as Edward Lear, Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Laurie Lee.
The average community pharmacy serves some 40 patients with epilepsy. Pharmacies can prove they are epilepsy friendly by signing up to Epilepsy Action’s Epilepsy Aware scheme